Our imminent trip to Crested Butte inspired a conversation with my pals Chris and Rusty (over beers): if you had one day to live, what ride would you do? Feel free to post your favorites, I'd love to hear about them!
I'm not planning on dying anytime too soon, but here were some of my choices (only including rides I've actually done here, I'm sure there are trails all over the world that I'd love but have never seen):
-Reno/Flag/Bear/Deadman loop off Cement Creek in Crested Butte. Buffest singletrack on earth, perfect distance, mile for mile the best XC ride in CB.
-Quemazon/Guaje Ridge loop in Los Alamos, my hometown. My first ride with clipless pedals, too many years ago.
-Raven's Ridge/Winsor in Santa Fe. Climb to 12k feet, descend singletrack all the way back to town. Starts and ends near some fantastic Mexican food - if only they could teleport Nellie's there I could ride it every day...and gain 50 pounds in a year.
-Mrazek trail to Phil's area (or Mrazek out-back) in Bend. I am mystified why this trail isn't more popular - climb up, then turn around and do a _12 mile_ descent! Then go drink at Deschutes...
-San Juan trail (San Juan Capistrano). The best singletrack in the OC, baby! Buff, smooth, and super duper fun. Laugh at the silly people on 8" travel bikes as you climb up, too.
-Bachelor street trails in Northampton, MA. Our only ride here ended in a massive hike-a-bike epic, thanks to Hassan "Magellan" Ibrahim of the desert folk. But the trails were pretty darn sweet (even though I whined a lot about the roots). It doesn't hurt that Hassan has a deck and alcohol with which to erase the memory of the pain.
-Indian Creek loop. Contains what might be my favorite 2 miles of singletrack in Colorado, and it's just remote and uncrowded enough to feel epic - even though it's really not.
-Couple of poach/illegal rides in Boulder that I won't mention here. Everything I like locally is quasi-illegal or a full-on poach. C'est la vie.